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September 17, 2012
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Stories from the Street 
  • How sales tax puts Main Street merchants at a disadvantage
    In addition to other challenges, Main Street shop owners have to deal with competition from online merchants that might not have to add state and local sales tax to customers' purchases. "It's killing me," said Thomas Wood, owner of a rare-coins shop in Lynchburg, Va. "You can't compete with people who don't have to pay that 5 percent." Virginia tried to fix the problem with a bill it passed last winter, but advocates say Congress must act to truly address the issue. The News Leader (Staunton, Va.)/The Associated Press (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Caring for Customers 
  • Leave a strong impression without boring your listeners
    People tend to have short attention spans, so you have to be able to make an impression and explain what your business does quickly, Barry Moltz writes. To hone your skills, you should think about the issues that your company addresses and how it presents itself to customers. Duct Tape Marketing (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to respond to dissatisfied customers on social media
    Social media can provide valuable opportunities for businesses, but it's also a forum for feedback -- both positive and negative. Don't ignore customer criticisms, and try to respond to unhappy customers on the same social platform that they used, experts say. "Sometimes saying you are sorry is the least expensive solution to your problem," said Dave Carroll of Fox Business Small Business Center (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Keeping Shop 
  • Family-business management lessons from "Tanked"
    As Animal Planet's reality TV program "Tanked" illustrates, it's easier for a family business to succeed when everyone has a well-defined job, Carol Tice writes. Additionally, the show, which focuses on a company that makes outsized aquariums, shows the value of going after high-end accounts and hiring talented individuals even if they aren't your relatives. Entrepreneur online/Reality Check blog (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • How to protect your business from white-collar crime
    In addition to protecting their businesses from robbers, company owners should be wary of white-collar criminals who may engage in bribery, blackmail or other harmful behavior. Companies can help prevent white-collar crime by investing in IT security and performing background checks. B2C Marketing Insider (9/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Managing the Money 
Tips & Tools 
  • Include e-mail marketing in your content calendar
    There are several advantages to including your e-mail messages in your content calendar, John Jantsch writes. Among other benefits, this approach has allowed Jantsch to get a better understanding of how much e-mail his business is sending out and to identify gaps in content output. Duct Tape Marketing (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
News You Can Use 
  • Assessing the SBA's effect
    The Small Business Administration is an important organization, but its impact on small-business lending is actually relatively small, writes Ami Kassar of MultiFunding. "When it comes to solving the puzzle of improving access to capital for small-business owners, the S.B.A. may be a piece of the puzzle -- but it is only a piece," Kassar writes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/You're the Boss blog (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 

Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Main Street readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
Editor's Note 
  • Updated SmartBrief privacy policy
    SmartBrief has updated its privacy policy to better reflect the state of the digital world. View the updated policy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Social media gives every business small or big the same opportunity to connect and build up their relationship."
--Melissa Agnes, a social media crisis manager, speaker and consultant, as quoted by Fox Business Small Business Center
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